The terrorist attacks have hit the German tourist industry hard. For the first time in 11 years fewer people have come to Germany by air. But not only the passenger numbers are down. The industry is under pressure.
Germany's tourism industry feels the squeeze
The numbers are down across the board. Thirty four percent American tourists less in September alone. And air travel to Germany is down more than 7 percent, the German Tourist Board reported on Tuesday.
Domestic travel was hit as well - thirteen percent down, dashing hopes the decline in tourist numbers would be offset by more Germans holidaying at home than usual.
Although Germany is still by far the German’s favourite holiday destination, it hasn’t been able to make up for the losses.
And when the tourists don’t come, the drop in income has repercussions. The fall in visitor numbers has shaken the hotel sector as well. Twelve percent fewer people came to stay compared to the same time last year.
Re-thinking strategies on how to attract punters to the ailing industry is a top priority. The German Tourist Board reckons the introduction of the euro at the beginning of next year will help to stimulate the industry.
And operators seem to be banking on more business as the result of passenger fear of flying following the attacks of September 11. They are hoping more Germans will increasingly be looking to discover the "hidden treasures" within Germany’s own borders.
Germany is by far still the destination of choice for the majority of Germans. Seventy eight million choose to holiday at home compared to the nearly 11 million Germans heading to Spain and a little over nine million who go to Italy each year.